2009
11.30

cosmic-bongo-revolution
There is a new revolution in snowboarding and skiing, and it is the Cosmic Bongo snowboard and ski revolution!
For too long have snowboarders and skiers been adversaries, with daily battles on slopes in mountains all over the world: boarders covering and dusting skiers in snow at any opportunity, skiers standing on the backs of shiny new snowboards to scratch them up in the chair lift queues and I have not even mentioned the spitting, tripping and licking that goes on between the two factions.
Do not get me wrong, some skiers or snowboarders, I hasten to add, but predominantly skiers, will always deserve to be dusted in snow, laughed at or licked (see one piece licking), but that’s mainly because these individuals are twats and deserve it; this is not a revolution of peace, it is a revolution of brotherhood and storming the slopes with style and confusion.
Just have a quick look at the Cosmic Bongo logo: it has a snowboard as well as skis; this is no accident. When I first started snowboarding, and all I had were mates that skied, I knew no better and thank god for that, because as a group we learnt some tips and tricks to make your time in the mountains easier and more fun (see Cosmic Bongo ski bingo). However, these are only possible when a snowboarder and skier join forces together for evil.
One tip we discovered concerns chair lifts and particularly the old style 4 seater baskets on strings and if you are 2 skiers or boarders will inevitably have to share that cramped chair with 2 Bavarian shot-putters with wooden skis and reeking of Schnapps, which might sound like fun, but trust me it is not.
However, if you are a snowboarder and skier together, each of you take your place on the 1st and 3rd lanes at the gates leading onto the chair lift, leaving nice clear spaces at 2nd and 4th positions; this creates fear and confusion and just fries the mind set of your usual winter sports folks (they have no idea what is going on) and decide it is much safe and wiser to wait for the next chair lift, leaving you a nice and spacious chair lift to drink your hip flask of Schnapps on without having to share it with shot-putters.
The second useful trick we found and coined was to Hail a taxi/ take a taxi.
As a snowboarder I found this most helpful, especially in resorts like St Anton in Austria where the slopes are full of soul crushingly long flat spots, full of smug
one-piece skiers, poling there way along it, thinking they are the proverbial Bee’s knees, as they watch us poor boarders as we have to un-bind our bindings, and trudge along the said flat spots, like Russian peasants lumbering along in search of a Turnip.
However, this does not have to be if you have a chum that ski. All you have to do is hang onto the business end of one of their ski pole and let him taxi you across the flat spot, hence we named it “Hailing a Taxi”; this really confuses the older skiers and smug one-piece brigade to the point that we have witnessed the rare few simply fall over in their puzzlement and we often increase the bewilderment by singing the theme tune to “Hawaii Five O” at the tops of our voices.

I have included the theme tune for you.

So if you want to join in and show support for this new revolution, simply join our Cosmic Bongo Facebook group and find like minded citizens.

Until next time… Vive la révolution

2009
11.24

cosmic

If you are like me, I bet money that you probably are, the worst part of being a snowboarder or skier in Europe is waiting for that critical trip to the mountains; pleading and begging to any and every god, for good snow.

The snowfall in the Alps has been woeful at best so far, however, it is only mid November, and I still have the upmost faith in my man Hans (the snow predictor) and he has not let me down yet (if you have no idea who Hans is read my post: Predicting the snowfall.

So for the best part of a month now my snowboard and all the rest of my essential and non-essential pieces of kit have been taken from under my bed ready for that first day on the hill. So of course I have turned into a major sufferer of OCD: every piece of equipment has to be examined and checked in microscopic detail and then scrutinized again a dozen or so times just to make sure nothing has changed overnight.

I have lost count, the last couple of weeks, of the amount of times I have changed the angle or position of my bindings and stood in my room in full kit, trying to feel and find that minute difference which will magically transform me from Shaun of the dead into Shaun of the White.

The worst part of all this is I still have a month to wait until I hit the mountains, so the restless waiting gets worse and worse: I have already changed all the rechargeable batteries in all 4 of my walkie talkies and tested them relentlessly throughout my flat. Also, I picked up the building site across the road and have been keeping myself truly amused by informing the workers of various daft instructions or requests, just to check the range and clarity of walkie talkies I have had for 5 years, even though I will only be talking 2 with me this year, and I will probably forget to pick them up from the chalet, running for the first lift in the morning as usual.

Then, with only a month or so left before I depart, the serious business of organising the snowboard bag starts, trying to figure out the perfect combination and positioning of each snowboarding item or paraphernalia, to maximise the space and miraculously minimise the weight so I can fit more than I will ever need into the bag, while still being able to pick the bugger up. This task takes weeks of planning, cursing and multiple trips to the bathroom scales to make sure everything does not exceed the unreasonable 32kg allowed on an aeroplane.

However, the stark truth and reality is after the weeks planning and re-packing the perfect snowboard bag, I normally end up out the night before with the guys I am riding with and pack the snowboard bag by just throwing anything and everything willy-nilly into the coffin like bag, 5 minutes before the taxi arrives and this is the way I will always do it.

I am sure this is how most of us prepare for our up and coming trips to the snow; I like to think it is all part of the charm in the addiction to the slopes, because the chaos before the storm lives in every snowboarder I know…

mountains with snow

Until next time, happy packing, re-packing, and re-packing …………….

2009
11.23

Stockholm Podium

The Stockholm podium:
1. Stefan Gimpl (AUT)
2. Marko Grilc (SLO)
3. Gjermund Braaten (NOR)

Who can stop “the machine”? After having won the first two big airs of the 2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup in London and Barcelona, Stefan Gimpl has also clinched the fourth edition of the LG Winterjam in Stockholm. In front of 20.000 spectators, the Austrian veteran not only extended his winning streak to three but also celebrated his fifth triumph in row — counted over the current and the last season. With a score of 50.8 points he relegated Slovenia’s Marko Grilc, who was his only threat in today’s final, to the second rank (50.5). All other riders struggled with the conditions making several mistakes; one of them was Gjermund Braaten (NOR) who rounded out the podium as third (38.5).

That he would put another victory to his belt was a huge surprise for Stefan Gimpl today who had never jumped on the podium at one of the three events held so far in Stockholm. Until today, his best result was a fourth rank achieved in 2008. Due to this, he also had intimated two weeks ago, after he had won in Barcelona, that he wasn’t expecting much at the season’s third big air. And also today, the 30-years-old could hardly believe his luck: “I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I’m on a roll. Especially as I’m always so nervous on top of the start that I can hardly stand. But when I’m in the in-run everything is blown off.”

A little bit later, after his stylish “Cab 900″ and “Frontside 900″ had secured his career’s ninth World Cup triumph, the 2009 World Championships Bronze medallist was able to analyse the competition: “I started pretty laidback. I mean, there aren’t that many finals left for me so I try to enjoy all of them. In addition, the conditions proved advantageous. It was how I like it: a steep kicker and a soft landing.”

Conditions, which were too tough for almost everybody in the final of the best ten riders. The only one besides Gimpl who kept a clean slate was Marko Grilc. And also he underlined that the soft snow played into his hands. “When the conditions are getting rough, it’s challenging. And I like this. This is fun.”

No wonder that the Slovenian rider was pretty pleased with his result, although he just missed his career’s first World Cup victory by four tenth: “It’s not easy for the judges. Therefore, I’m stoked that I landed my tricks (“Backside 1080 Double Cork” and “Frontside 900″).

Maybe his time comes at the season’s fourth big air which will take place for the first time ever on Asian ground. Seoul, Korea, will host the next ramp show on December 13th. Another rider who will give it another go in Korea is Gian-Luca Cavigelli. The young Swiss talent is Gimpl’s strongest pursuer in the World Cup ranking with a deficit of 900 points. Today, due to mistakes in his first two jumps he had to be content with the fourth rank.

The LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will take a break next weekend. The next competition is a Parallel Giant Slalom in Limone Piemonte, Italy, where the race boarders will taste real snow for the first time this winter on December 6th.

LG Snowboard FIS World Cup – Result big air Stockholm – ESPN.

2009
11.16

FBBB

I was invited by FBBB (For Boarders By Boarders) to check out their board art exhibition featuring some new up and coming artists, as well as established board artists.

Therefore, I set off on my travels to Old Street in London to the Reebok Lounge, battling the wind and driving rain on this dark, dank, and dreadful Thursday night in Old London Town.

I have not experienced wind and rain like this in London for a few years now; it gave the streets an eerie and foreboding impression; I could imagine Jack the Ripper lurking in a side street, having decided to come back for one night only, to find and despatch an unsuspecting snowboarder or two… plus he would have known where to find us, because he would have found all the info on the FBBB facebook page.

On a serious note, if London had its own mountain or two, it would have been dumping on my imaginary mountain range, because as they say: “when it rains in the village, it is puking on the hill”. I am sure every London snowboarder or skier here has wished for some mountains once or twice; I personally would have the mountain range placed where Colindale and Cricklewood are now, who’s going to miss those places????

So, through the bleak night I arrived at the FBBB event at the Reebok Lounge: the contrast between the dark gloomy night outside and the light and cheerful atmosphere inside, with music pumping and cold beer flowing. The atmosphere and energy at the event was electric; my heart and spirits were lifted instantly, especially when one of those perfectly chilled beer was placed in my cold and slightly soggy hand; it was then that my eyes adjusted to the various skateboards, snowboards and paintings positioned through out the venue and the immaculate art these assorted boards contained was mind blowing.

Amar Stewart

The first artwork to catch my eye was a set of skate boards by Amar Stewart. I found these three boards to have supernatural and ghostlike qualities to them, and reminded me of the cruel night outside.

Mr Penfold (1) Mr Penfold (2)

Furthermore, one of the nicest and smartest pieces of work was being produced by Mr. Penfold, an extremely gifted artist, and as the event was taking place, every person in the room was eager to see his finished piece and it did not disappoint. This work was given to a very lucky winner via the raffle, later in the evening, along with another piece of original artwork, plus a one-off limited edition snow and skate helmet all in aid of the very worth while snow-camp charity.

Don't Care Bears

Rizla BoardUgly Kids Club (rock) I then came across the always fun and original designs of Ugly Kids Club. This included the inspired “don’t care bears” skateboard, the Ugly kids Rizla snowboard and last but not least, the rock influenced skull snowboards

Blue dude (1) Blue dude (2) Fish Bowl man

Two of my favourite pieces were by the artist Two-Pence, the first being a skateboard with a weird little blue coloured dude on it, with a cuckoo clock in his massive hair (I particularly liked this one because I have always tended to gravitate towards the strange and wonderful things in life). The second piece by Two-Pence I really liked was a small but one of the most original in style and design at the show; I think it was a man or a robot with a fishbowl for a head… I will have to ask Two-Pence when I see him next?

Or let me know what you all think (Third pic above) email me thomas@cosmicbongo.com

Saia

The last two artists I especially liked were skateboards by Saia and Julian Kimmings. The Saia boards were two very beautiful boards featuring a woman and a rabbit, with each board depicting the opposite of the other, giving a strange sense of melancholy which emanated from both.

Julian Kimmings

The Julian Kimmings skateboard had a haunting and tragic air around it; I found myself continually drawn towards it throughout the night to gaze at her heartbreaking and tortured eyes.

I really did enjoy every element of this exhibition from the stunning artworks to the skilful DJ’s and free beer. I cannot wait until the 2010 board art exhibition next year and suggest you book a place there too.

To my surprise by the time I left the show the wind had stopped and the rain ceased revealing a beautiful London night.

headerLogo2

So with my mind in overdrive the next day with ideas of designing my own board, I stumbled across the website Grafik Armor and in particular the Grafik Lab. This highly original and ultra simple graphic design tool allows those of us not blessed in the art of drawing and painting to design our very own full size vinyl top sheet stickers, using up to 10 different design elements from a menu of 35; have a go and let me know what you come up with.

I do hope they add more design elements in the future, plus the ability to upload your own designs to further customise that one off limited edition snowboard you have always dreamt of.

They do mainly deliver in the USA and Canada, but  they do ship to us over here in the UK.

Until next time, bring on the snow!!!!

2009
11.16
2009
11.09

bongo-web-logo

Being a snowboarder and running this snowboard blog has been crazy, to say the least, over the past few weeks. First the madness started with the Metro Snowboard and Ski show in Olympia, which is always fun and astounding for all the right and wrong reasons, also if all goes to plan, look out for a Cosmic Bongo stand at next years show, of course you will be the first to know of any developments.

Then the following weekend was Halloween and the London freeze at Battersea power station, which was again outstanding this year, with the Austrian Stefan Gimpl taking the top prize in the Big Air comp on the Saturday night (I do hope the London freeze continues to be a regular event in the London snowboard calendar).

lcbSurfStoreLogo

So, this past weekend I decided to take a break from everything Snowboard or winter sports related and decided to take a leisurely stroll down to Camden Town to see how many Italian and Swedish tourists I could count. I must say the number of Italians in Camden is very high this year and after I had lost count for the umpteenth time and finally got bored with this one man game, naturally because I can never stay away from anything board wise, I headed into my local snowboard shop, LCB in Camden.

about1

I am very lucky because my local Skate and more importantly Snowboard shop is only a 10 min walk from my house. LCB in Camden is my idea of the perfect snowboard shop: from the ultra helpful staff to the practice skate ramp in the basement. However, the crème du la crème, please excuse the awful pun, is the coffee shop in the front of the shop because you can chew the fat with the guys in the shop while eating a slice of chocolate cake and what is better than that.

However, these are not the main reasons for it being a top notch shop; the main reason is the guy’s commitment in building a small but perfectly formed local Camden board scene, via regular trips up to the Hemel Hempstead snow centre and nights featuring up and coming graphic and graffiti artists (if you want to know more, check out their web site here). Also pop in to the shop to have a look at all the new gear.

I will be going to some of the shops event in the following weeks, so I will keep you up to date with all the latest news from the front line.

Darth Bunny

So, after spending too much time touching all the new clobber and boards, I decided to run the gauntlet of food stalls in the markets. I have lived in Camden for so many years now and still have never quite got used to the smell of sweaty noodles… but if I had not entered the alleyways of MSG, I would not have discovered the genius of Killer Bunny. As most of you who have ever set foot in the markets of Camden Town will know, the place is full of dodgy paintings of canals and the ubiquitous bridge, and therefore it was a real breath of fresh air to stumble across Jeff/Killer Bunny and his slight warped and weird style of urban art; I am amazed a skateboard or snowboard company have not picked him up to design their boards yet, because his work is outstanding; I particularly love his Darth Bunny painting, (the pic above).

I recommend, if you are ever in Camden, to go check out and buy something from him while he is still there; he is in the Market hall building on the upper floor.

board art

That leads me neatly to my plans for this week: I am off to a FBBB (For Boarders By Boarders) event in the Reebok Lounge in Old Street this Thursday, 12th November. This event is an exhibition of new ski, skate and snowboard related art; also it is the launch of FBBB compilation album, so again, I will keep you all up to date with what’s new in the world of new Snowboard art, next week.

If you want to go to this event or find out more, check out the FBBB facebook group.

Until next time Happy Boarding……………………………

2009
11.03

So as promise here are a few photos of my one off limited and customised Cosmic Bongo Chuck Buddies.
More photos will follow in the coming weeks, as I take him out and about.

plus stay tuned to catch, the short film or two I plan to make this season while in the mountains.

Cosmic Chuck Backcosmic chuck frontcosmic chuck side

Until next time, Happy Boarding……………………………

2009
10.28

bongo-web-logo

Here at the Cosmic Bongo snowboard blog, we have started to see the signs everywhere. Halloween costumes in the shops and fireworks on sale in Sainsbury’s.

It can only mean one thing: the start of Christmas, or at least starting to think about what to get your nearest and dearest, but don’t panic, we are here to give you our top 5 Christmas gifts for a snowboarder.

chuck

1)      Our number one this year are these little fellas Chuck buddies.

Created and designed by 9 times British master snowboard champion Joel Erith.

Chuck Buddies are little hand held freestyle champions, which any snowboarder big or small would give their right arm for, for Christmas.

The real genius of these little blokes is that they have interchangeable parts, and with 4 different colours to choose from (red, green, blue and yellow) you can build your own unique jib monkey and the best bit is cracking out the Sharpe pens and letting your imagination go wild. In fact, here at Cosmic Bongo, we are making our very own Cosmic Bongo mini me to take out to the mountains this year and make a few videos with him. I will post the pics once he is finished, and keep checking in over the season to see the mini bongo films.

So check out the video below and get chucking.

2)      Always high on our list of the perfect Christmas is a Toqueanie.

toqueanies

Toqueanies are the perfect winter woolly hat, a cross between a Canadian Toque and a European beanie. All Toqueanies are handmade by the adorable Dani, so you will have a truly one off custom made winter woolly this season, safe in the knowledge no one else will be rocking the same one on any slope or in any après ski bar near you. To read more about Toqueanies, see the post Snowboarding Advice – the woolly hat.

cosmicbongo-t-shirts

3)      Our number three is not only for snowboarders but skiers too, as Cosmic Bongo not only supports snowboarders and snowboarding, we also believe skiers are people too (sorry Tim). I am sure Tim will write a Top five Christmas gifts for a skier in the next few weeks.

Anyway, back to number 3: our number. Believe it or not, it is a Cosmic Bongo original t-shirt. Why just buying the bog standard and mass produced t-shirts from the like of: Burton, Rome, Volcom and Von Zipper …

Get your hands on an original Cosmic Bongo design, and if you take a picture of yourself with a Cosmic Bongo T-shirt and we put it in our gallery, you will get your very own limited edition Cosmic Bongo Tee.

So what are you waiting for?

gelert camera case

4)      We have kind of cheated with number 4, because it is 2 gifts instead of one.

The reason for this is that the 2 gifts sort of compliment each other, and a top 6 Christmas gifts does not sound nearly as snappy as a top 5.

Anyway, enough of my yakking, the first of the 2 gifts, is the Gelert hard shell camera case. This is the cheapest of the top 5, but by no means the least useful, at a cost of only £7.99, it is a third of the price of the big camera firm versions. I never ride without putting my camera in one of these puppies, trust me, there is nothing worse, after a solid day riding, than looking in your backpack or pocket, only to find that your digital camera screen has been smashed into a hundred pieces (plus the price to replace a standard camera screen starts at about £70, that’s why we recommend this one).

Our second of the 2 is the Demon flight tune kit. This handy little case contains everything a boarder might need to repair and keep his or her snowboard in tip top condition while away in those hills. If you prefer to make your own kit, but you don’t know where to start, read our post Snowboarding Advice – Gadgets: the good, the bad, and the useless, for some useful advice.

Tao Okamoto - Uniqlo Heattech, Fall 2009

5)      Last, but certainly not least, are Uni-qlo heat tech long sleeve t-shirts.

We all know that in the world of winter sports as soon as the words “ski” or “snowboard” are mentioned in a product or clothing, the price naturally doubles because, as all the winter sports firms know, we all have an endless pot of money, right???

So at last and before they realised it, Japanese clothing company Uni-qlo Uhave brought out a range of clothing they call Heat-Tech. I have used these for the last 2 seasons and they work just as well as any of the leading brands of base layers but at a fraction of the cost. So, get out and buy these before Uni-qlo figure out how much they can actually charge for these base layers.

So that’s our 5 Christmas gifts. If you have any ideas you want to share, just email me at thomas@cosmicbongo.com and we will include them on the next post.

Until next time, happy boarding………..

2009
09.27

Metro ski ans snowboard show

The Metro Ski & Snowboard Show celebrates alpine antics with a fantastic range of new features along with some returning favourites to entertain, inspire and amaze. Indulge in the ultimate mountain experience and celebrate your passion for snow.

* 50ft Kicker: London Ride and British Snow Tour will be laying down sick air off the kicker with some of the best riders around the UK looking for a pre Winter Olympic warm up.

* Zillertal Après Ski Bar: Austrian electro pop, mad dancing, nightly parties, fancy dress and a bar all hosted by Zillertal, giving you just a glimpse of what they do best.

* Snowbombing will be hosting their Premiere UK Street Party on Friday 23rd from 5pm. Expect random fuelled lunacy courtesty of:

LOOSE CANNONS

TBX

CASHMERE MISFIT

GUTTERFUNK DJS

and some more familiar faces tbc! (and moustaches)

So don your best fancy dress costumes on and head on down!

* Off Piste Adventure Zone: Taste the powder and enjoy your first off piste run of the season with some inspirational talks, films and guidance from mountain experts. Lead by Henry’s Avalanche Talks and Mountain Tracks, listen to the best advice and learn some tips for safe off piste riding.

* Board Riders Heaven: Core snowboard brands will be showcasing the latest kit and giving you the opportunity to talk to professionals who will teach you the benefits of choosing the right board according to your height, weight, stance and ability. Brands at the show include K2, Ride, Lib Tech, DC, Flow and Amplid.

* Natives Jobs Fair: Find all the information you need to know about working a winter season, visas, accommodation and more with expert help from Natives representatives.

* Husky Lodge: Destination Quebec will be returning with our favourite furry friends the Husky Dogs for a full five days petting bonanza. Have your photo taken with the dogs and indulge in Quebciors finest maple taffy made in ice troughs right before your eyes.

* World Resort Village: giving you the chance to speak to mountain representatives from around the globe and learn what each resort has to offer. Exhibitors will be coming from far and wide including France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, USA, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia Canada and even Japan.

* Gigloo: Have a laugh with live comedy courtesy of the Altitude Festival, live music and DJs spinning hot tracks.

* World Food Pavilion: Get a taste of the mountain and indulge in the finest food from around the globe including cheese, champagne and chocolate. Plus learn how to rustle up your favourite piste snacks in the food kitchen.

* Brand Arena & Fashion Show: The hottest winter sports brands will be previewing their latest kit with the help of b-boy dancing, parkour stunts and generous giveaways. This year’s brands include Salomon, Bonfire, Faiise, Skin, Schoffel.

* Bargain Holidays and Shopping: Find the best bargains in the show with retailers, tour ops and brands offering exclusive show discounts.

via Metro Ski & Snowboard Show 2009, Olympia, London | GONEboarding .

2009
09.18

bongo-web-logo

As this blog has had a rather boarder-centric bias so far it’s about time us skiers had a say – after all if it wasn’t for us there wouldn’t be any snowboarders, right? Anyway here’s a few useful skiing terms explained, many of which also apply to boarders – if you have any more to add please send ‘em my way. Thanks to Rob aka “Loose Moose” for his contributions to this article.

AIRFIX WIPE-OUT
Coming apart in kit form – the best Airfix Wipe-outs will involve parting company with both skis, both poles and a hat / goggles / sunglasses / gloves as well. Tamiya Wipe-outs just aren’t as much fun.

NB if your skiing buddy has just suffered an Airfix Wipe-out you should…
#1 have a good laugh at their expense;
#2 only then express any concern in case of injury.

BLOOD WAGON
Stretcher used to ferry injured skiers down the mountain.

BRAILLE SKIING
Feeling your way down the piste in flat light by reading the bumps rather than being able to see where you are going. See also: “Labrador skiing” / “Using the force” / “Skiing with a white stick”.

CAUGHT A TIP
A alternative to “losing an edge” usually occurring in deep powder, moguls or spring snow.

DEATH COOKIE
A solid chunk of ice, usually created by a piste basher. Hitting a Death Cookie unexpectedly may cause a skier or boarder to lose an edge.

mini_me

DR EVIL
To drink schnapps or other ski improvement juice in a “goofy” manner (little finger on top, thumb underneath the shot glass – the reverse of the approved method in bluffer’s guide to snowboarding) – see also evil genius bent on world domination.

DUMP
Noun or verb relating to a heavy snowfall. “We’re due a good dump on Thursday”. “It’s been dumping down all night”.

DUSTING
Stopping while digging in hard immediately adjacent to a fellow skier or boarder in order to cover them with a cloud of loose snow. Irritating? Yes. Childish? Yes. Predictable? Yes. Extremely entertaining for the perpetrator? Oh yes.

FACE PLANT
Leaving an unwarranted perfectly formed ‘mirror’ image of yours truly in deep powder snow after “losing a tip”.

FLAMIN’ MOGUL
Canadian après ski beverage – the recipe is a closely guarded secret but seems to contain liberal quantities of hot chocolate, cream and an extremely large measure of rum and goes down very well with a beer chaser.

FLAT LIGHT
Usually occurs in cloudy and/or snowy conditions – the sky is white, the snow is white and it is impossible to distinguish one from the other rendering the contours of the slope effectively invisible. Ski with caution. Talking about skiing in “flat light” will always make you sound knowledgeable in après ski circles.

FOAMING AT THE MOUTH SKIING
Reckless skiing. Skiing with scant regard to personal safety. Skiing hard. Skiing fast.

FOUR O’CLOCK ANTS
A late afternoon deluge of lemmings – best avoided by having a few drinks up the mountain before skiing down late shortly before the piste patrol.

FRESH TRACKS
The first ski or board marks made in fresh powder. The holy grail to any self respecting advanced skier or boarder – a feeling like no other.

GAYS ON TRAYS
Skiers’ slang for snowboarders.

HAIL A TAXI / TAKE A TAXI
Skating while towing a boarder hanging onto the business end of your ski pole across a flat bit of ground. The boarder should first “hail a taxi”.

KAMIKAZE WIPE-OUT
Sacrificing your own dignity in an attempt to take down another skier or boarder.

LEMMING
An inexperienced skier blatantly out of their depth attempting to descend a slope (usually rather timidly) that is technically much too difficult for them.

LOSING AN EDGE
A socially acceptable way of admitting that you lost control and fell over. A typical story over a few après ski beverages might go something like this…

“One moment I was schussing down the hill in complete control, the next I was momentarily became distracted by the second coming of Christ a few hundred yards to my left, clipped a death cookie AND I LOST AN EDGE.”

MEDECINA
Ski improvement juice made from pine cones and Grappa and served only at the Medecina bar. I could tell you where to find it but I’d have to kill you.

MOOSERWIRT / “TO MOOSERWIRT”
Named after the legendary piste-side watering hole in St Anton this is a verb loosely meaning attempting to ski after 7 or 8 pints of lager with Jaegermeister chasers. I could not possibly condone such a practise you understand.

PANCAKE
Normally occurs when skiing at increased velocity in flat light at a steep gradient and then hitting a level path of track (which is masked by the flat light); it is easy to understand the subsequent impact which resembles an “airfix model effect”.

PENGUINS
A group of boarders sat on the snow – often in a very dangerous and obstructive spot right slap bang in the middle of a piste. “Those penguins are in need of a good dusting”.

PORRIDGE
Spring Snow. See also: “This piste has been sponsored by Quaker”.

ROLLERS
See Whoop-De-Whoops

SCHUSS
Skiing at speed in a straight line / racing tuck position, often in order to cross a flat patch without skating or poling.

SKATING
A similar technique to ice skating to enable a skier to cross a flat bit of ground without poling / taking off your skis and walking. One of the best arguments in favour of skiing rather than boarding.

SKI IMPROVEMENT JUICE
Anything that can be swigged from a hip flask on a chair lift to take the edge off inclement weather and / or induce foaming at the mouth skiing. My personal preference is for a decent Scottish or Irish malt whiskey (10 or 16 year old Bushmills does the trick) – Jaegermeister is also extremely effective.

SKIED OUT
Fresh powder that has been skied and skied again until there no fresh tracks to be had.

SPRING SNOW
Thick gloopy snow typically found later in the season or on slopes that have caught the sun for several hours – hard work on the thighs, knees and ankles.

TWO PLANKER W*NKERS
US snowboarders’ slang for skiers.

WHOOP-DE-WHOOPS
Onomatopoeic term for a series of bumps in quick succession, usually found on a fairly gentle gradient of piste – can be hazardous when hit unexpectedly at high speed.

Next time: some advice on skiing with boarders or boarding with skiers in perfect harmony.

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